Ahead of the Fine Gael think-in, Tánaiste Leo Varakdar stated that the gathering is “going to be a good one” and that it’s the first time since July 2019 that party members have been able to gather together and regroup.
Varadkar stated, “We will come out of here united.”
Varadkar said that members of the parliamentary party, as well as party activists have expressed disappointment towards Fine Gael, stating that the party “hasn’t been at its best, its most competent and sharpest in the past couple of weeks and months.”
The Tánaiste addressed the controversy involving Katherine Zappone and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, saying that Coveney had a responsibility to flag the appointment of Zappone to a UN special envoy role to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and has issued an apology for his handling of the affair.
He stated that a coalition should be based on two principles – good faith and no surprises.
Although Varadkar said that there is good faith among the three parties, he said that there should have been potential political sensitivities in the Zappone appointment.
Varadkar added that the Freedom of Information Act needs to be reviewed and refreshed, and although it was refreshed back in 2015, he said that it was not adequately refreshed.
Varadkar also stated that he didn’t believe Fine Gael had been too long in power while stating that “experience matters in politics”.
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